‘Jesus Fish’ open doors for ministry in New Orleans.

By July 10, 2006

USA (MNN)–New Orleans, Louisiana is slow to awaken. Katrina’s rubble still dots the landscape, muddy puddles are everywhere, filled with the nemesis of summer — mosquitoes.

The presence of so many breeding grounds for the larvae raises serious concerns over the diseases (such as West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis) spread by the pests.

Operation Blessing’s President Bill Horan got a call from the city with this plea for help. “‘We need mosquito fish, we need the funding to purchase the mosquito fish, and we need a virtual army of volunteers to plant these fish in these pools.'”

Nonplussed, Horan looked into the matter, admitting, “I had never even heard of a mosquito fish before.” What he found was that, “The mosquito fish, or Gambusia, have been used for over 100 years in virtually every country where there are mosquitoes, for biological control.”

They’re voracious eaters and eat only mosquitoes. These guppy-sized fish can breed in squalid conditions, and reach maturity quickly.

Thus, the ‘Bug Busters’ initiative was born. Horan says they immediately mobilized the church community to help–the effect: open doors for ministry. “I’ve had people ask me if they could get some of those ‘Jesus Fish’. The first time the question was asked, I really had to do a double-take on that, but at least throughout some of the church community in the Orleans area, these fish are becoming known as ‘Jesus Fish’.”

In addition to overseeing the purchase and distribution of the mosquito fish, OBI continues to provide recovery to residents through house gutting, tree and debris removal, feeding kitchens and a free medical and dental clinic.

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